Tenderloins Air Fryer Recipe : A Comprehensive Guide

tenderloins air fryer recipe

Welcome to the world of air frying! If you’re a fan of tender, juicy and perfectly cooked meat, then you’re in for a treat. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the wonders of preparing tenderloins in an air fryer. From the food science behind it to selecting the right cut, cleaning, preparation, helpful tips, variations, and determining the perfect doneness, we’ve got you covered. So grab your apron and let’s dive in!

Understanding the Food Science

Before we jump into the actual cooking process, let’s take a moment to understand the food science behind air frying and its impact on tenderloins. Air frying is a cooking method that uses hot air circulation to cook food, giving it a crispy exterior while maintaining the desired tenderness inside. This innovative cooking technique minimizes the use of oil, making it a healthier alternative to traditional frying.

When cooking tenderloins in an air fryer, the hot air rapidly circulates around the meat, creating a Maillard reaction. This reaction occurs between the amino acids and sugars present in the meat, resulting in a beautiful brown crust and a mouthwatering aroma. The intense heat also helps to lock in the moisture, ensuring the tenderloins remain juicy and succulent.

Selecting the Perfect Cut

Choosing the right cut of tenderloin is crucial for a successful air frying experience. When it comes to tenderloins, pork and beef are the most popular options. For pork tenderloins, look for cuts that are pinkish in color with little to no fat. Beef tenderloins, also known as fillets, should have a bright red color with minimal marbling for the best results.

It’s worth mentioning that tenderloins are incredibly versatile and can be seasoned and marinated according to your taste preferences. Whether you prefer a classic selection of herbs and spices or a bold and unique marinade, the choice is yours!

Cleaning and Preparation


Proper cleaning and preparation are essential for food safety and ensuring the best cooking results. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get your tenderloins ready for the air fryer:

  1. Start by rinsing the tenderloins under cool water to remove any residual blood or debris.
  2. Pat the meat dry with paper towels to ensure crispy browning during cooking.
  3. Trim off any excess fat or silver skin using a sharp knife. This will prevent the meat from becoming chewy and allows flavors to penetrate more effectively.
  4. Season the tenderloins with your desired mix of herbs, spices, or marinade. Be generous and press the seasoning into the meat to enhance flavor absorption.
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Expert Tips for Success


To ensure your tenderloins turn out perfectly every time, here are some expert tips to keep in mind:

1. Preheating the Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer before cooking. This helps create that initial burst of heat needed for the Maillard reaction and ensures even cooking.

2. Proper Placement: Arrange the tenderloins in a single layer inside the air fryer basket, leaving enough space between each piece for optimal air circulation. This guarantees even browning and thorough cooking.

3. Rotate and Flip: Midway through the cooking process, gently rotate the tenderloins and flip them over. This helps to ensure even browning on all sides and prevents any potential hotspots from forming.

4. Use a Meat thermometer: To achieve the perfect level of doneness, invest in a meat thermometer. This tool will accurately measure the internal temperature of the tenderloins and prevent over or undercooking. Pork tenderloins should reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), while beef tenderloins are ideal at 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare or up to 145°F (63°C) for medium doneness.

5. Resting Period: Once cooked, allow your tenderloins to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This enables the juices to redistribute, resulting in tender, moist meat.

Recipe: Classic Herbed Tenderloins

close up view of air fried tenderloins

Now that you’re armed with essential knowledge and helpful tips, let’s delve into a mouthwatering recipe for classic herbed tenderloins. Gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of pork or beef tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the dried herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Rub the tenderloins with olive oil, making sure to cover them entirely.
  4. Generously sprinkle the herb mixture over the tenderloins, pressing it gently into the meat to adhere.
  5. Place the seasoned tenderloins in a single layer inside the air fryer basket.
  6. Cook the tenderloins at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  7. Use a meat thermometer to check the doneness, ensuring the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C) for pork or your desired temperature for beef tenderloins.
  8. Once cooked, let the tenderloins rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
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Variations to Explore

close up view of air fried tenderloins

Now that you’ve mastered the classic herbed tenderloins, it’s time to get creative with variations. Here are a few ideas to inspire your culinary experimentation:

  1. Asian-inspired Glaze: Combine soy sauce, honey, ginger, and garlic to create a flavorful glaze. Brush it on the tenderloins during cooking for a sweet and savory twist.

  2. Smoky BBQ: Rub your tenderloins with a homemade BBQ spice blend and finish them off with a light brushing of your favorite BBQ sauce for that irresistible smoky flavor.

  3. Mediterranean Marvel: Marinate your tenderloins in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and a blend of Mediterranean spices. This will give them a tangy and zesty profile.

Cleaning and Maintenance

After you’ve enjoyed your delicious air-fried tenderloins, it’s important to properly clean and maintain your air fryer. Follow these steps:

  1. Let the air fryer cool down completely.
  2. Remove the cooking basket and any additional accessories.
  3. Wash them with warm, soapy water, using a non-abrasive sponge.
  4. Dry the parts thoroughly before reassembling and storing.

By maintaining proper cleaning techniques, your air fryer will continue to provide outstanding cooking results for many meals to come.

Final Thoughts

Air frying tenderloins opens up a whole new world of cooking possibilities. With the perfect blend of science, technique, and creativity, you can enjoy tender, juicy, and flavorful meat with a crispy exterior. From the food science behind air frying to selecting the best cut, cleaning, preparation, expert tips, variations, and a delectable recipe, you now have all the knowledge needed to master this culinary delight. So go ahead, grab your air fryer, and let your taste buds savor the incredible tenderness of air-fried tenderloins!

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  • FAQS On Tenderloins Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is A Tenderloin?

    Tenderloin refers to a cut of beef or pork that is taken from the loin area, which is located in the back of the animal.

    What Is An Air Fryer?

    An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook food instead of oil or fat. It circulates hot air around the food, producing crispy, golden brown results.

    Can You Cook Tenderloins In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can cook tenderloins in an air fryer. It is an efficient and healthy way to cook meat without the added fat and oil.

    What Are Some Tips For Cooking Tenderloins In An Air Fryer?

    Some tips for cooking tenderloins in an air fryer include preheating the appliance, seasoning the meat with your favorite spices, and flipping the meat halfway through cooking to ensure even crispness.

    How Long Does It Take To Cook Tenderloins In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time for tenderloins in an air fryer depends on the thickness and size of the cuts. Generally, it takes about 12-15 minutes to cook pork tenderloins and 10-12 minutes for beef tenderloins.

    What Are Some Popular Tenderloins Air Fryer Recipes?

    Some popular tenderloins air fryer recipes include garlic herb pork tenderloin, honey mustard beef tenderloin, and rosemary balsamic pork tenderloin.

    How Do You Know If The Tenderloin Is Cooked In An Air Fryer?

    You can use an instant-read meat thermometer to check if the tenderloin is cooked in an air fryer. The internal temperature should be 145°F for pork and 130-135°F for beef. The meat should also be firm to the touch and juices should run clear.